Uploading to your podcast host

With our MP3 exported and checked, it’s now time to upload and publish.

If you’re publishing through Substack, you don’t need a separate hosting account, as they’ll provide podcast hosting for you. Skip down to the Substack section of this lesson.

The first thing you’ll need is an Anchor account. Note that Anchor doesn’t support multiple podcasts under one account, so sign up with an email address that’s related to your podcast (incase you have another show later).

Just let me upload my MP3

As a free service, it’s important to Anchor that you put ads in your show, because when you do, Anchor gets a cut of any sales you make. Failing that, they’re happy for you to advertise themselves, since they think that brings more people in who’ll potentially run ads in their shows. For our purposes this is a distraction, so we want to bypass any of Anchor’s monetisation options, and just go straight to uploading a single MP3 file.

Monetisation may be a consideration for your show, but it probably won’t be through Anchor ads.

Titles, dates, and show notes

Each episode needs a title. Some people choose to include an episode number at the beginning, but rarely is that useful information a listener. The best thing for your episode title is the title of the blog post you’re reading. You don’t need anything else – not the name of your podcast or the date, or any other keywords (that’s the job of your blog post).

You’ll also be able to change the date of the episode to something in the past or the future. Assuming you’re reading an existing post, the best date to choose is the date of the post. That will mean that episodes will appear in the same reverse-chronological order in podcast players as they do on your website.

Your podcast is an audio accompaniment to your blog or newsletter. As such, you might only expect people to click the Play button in the embedded player of your blog post (we’ll of course cover that shortly). But the major benefit to delivering your blog as a podcast is that your readers become listeners, and that listening can take place anywhere.So we want to make sure the podcast has context for and appeals to those who haven’t come across your blog.

When a podcast episode is played on an app like Apple Podcasts or Spotify, there is accompanying information that goes with it. There are a few terms for this, but most commonly they’re referred to as “show notes”, so we’ll stick with that for now.

Show notes give extra information to the listener, often with links to more info. If you leave this piece blank, you could miss out on the chance to guide your listener through to your website, or to further action.

You have three options for your show notes:

  1. A short sentence saying “This is the audio version of my blog post, which you can find at this address”
  2. A few sentences of your blog post, with a link for the listener to read the full thing
  3. The full blog post (links and all), with any calls-to-action at the bottom

Option 3 is my personal favourite, as it requires the least amount of effort. All I have to do is copy the text from my blog post into the description box in Anchor, and add some additional text (links to my social media profiles or anything I want to promote). It also signals to the listener that you're delivering a discrete piece of content, rather than simply an adjunct to the "real" content elsewhere.

You can also upload different artwork for each episode. That’s out of the scope of this course, and there’s little benefit to doing it unless you already have a good workflow where you can easily resize the header image you’re using in your blog post.

If you don’t want to use per-episode artwork, don’t upload anything here. ie: don’t re-upload your main podcast artwork, as this will cause problems if you choose to change the artwork later.

Publish and embed

Once your episode is uploaded and published, you can get the embed code to put on your blog. “Published” means that it’s available to the public now. If you’ve scheduled your episode for later, you won’t be able to get the embed code until the publication date has passed (that’s not a technical limitation of podcasting; that’s just bad product design from Anchor).

  1. Once your episode is published, visit the episode details page via your Anchor dashboard. (If you’ve come back to this page from scheduling an episode in the future, you’ll find this by logging into Anchor, clicking “Episodes” and then clicking the title of your latest episode.
  2. At the bottom of the description box, on the right hand side, you’ll see a button with an icon showing a / surrounded by two angular brackets: ``. When you mouse over it, a label should read “Copy embed”. Click that button.
  3. The code to embed your episode in your blog post should now be in your clipboard.

The contents of your clipboard will look something like this:

<iframe src="https://anchor.fm/username/embed/episodes/Episode-title-a123b4c" height="102px" width="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

You might be familiar with code like this, if you’ve ever embedded a YouTube video. the <iframe> tag creates a window on your website through which we can see another piece of content, hosted elsewhere. By default, the window is 400 pixels wide, and 102 pixels tall, and has no borders around it. Your content management system may adjust the width of the window, or give you tools to do this yourself. Usually it’s good to make the width “100%”, so that it covers your main text area from left-to-right.

When successfully added to your website, you’ll have something that looks like this:


Hosting on Substack?

If you’re using Substack for your blog and/or newsletter, you can use their podcast hosting service. Here’s how to get setup, using the same information we gathered in the previous lesson.


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